A Brief History of the Mission Partnership

Leading for a change

When the brand new city of Milton Keynes was designated on 23rd January 1967, an Inter-Church committee was convened to accept the principle that the Churches should act together in all matters except where deep differences of conviction compelled them to act separately.

Ecumenical proposals were submitted in March 1970 and incorporated into the Development Corporation’s “Master Plan”. It was a first for a New Town Plan to include a section from the churches acting together and MK has broken new ground from then on. The realisation of the aspiration was long and difficult to achieve and many people worked and prayed hard for its accomplishment.

In the late seventies it became clear that an Ecumenical Planning Officer funded by the denominations was needed to give a coherent lead from the churches speaking with a single voice. In 1981 Rev Gethin Abraham–Williams was appointed as the Ecumenical Officer and by 1982 a new Christian Council came into being, with a Presidency, an Executive and the Ecumenical Assembly which met three times a year.

The Presidency was formed by the five leaders of the participating denominations and the Assembly elected a Lay Chair to ensure lay participation.

Leading for a change

There was much building of new churches within new local ecumenical partnerships and these were designed to be shared by the participating denominations. The older traditional churches were incorporated as well. New teams represented most of the denominations within each partnership.

The next Ecumenical Officer, Rev Hugh Cross, took the title of Ecumenical Moderator in 1990 and he was in post when the building of the Church of Christ the Cornerstone was completed.

In 1996 Hugh was succeeded by Rev Murdoch McKenzie and in 2003 Rev Dr Mary Cotes became the last Ecumenical Moderator. During Mary’s time in MK, a Review into the working of the Mission Partnership was carried out and the findings revealed some ambiguities and legal misunderstandings of the role.

Fresh clarity of purpose enabled the Mission Partnership to analyse carefully what it could do and led to the appointment of a Director of Ecumenical Mission in 2012 to focus on all aspects of Mission in the city. There is a new vision which includes working with other Christian groups and churches in the city, as well as the traditional denominations which had hitherto supported the Mission Partnership.

So we are embarking on a new chapter with clear challenges.

Leading for a change

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Leading for a change

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News

Rev Gordon Simmonds

It is with sadness we inform you of the death of Rev Gordon Simmonds on 19th February. Gordon was the Methodist Superintendent in MK from the late 1970s to the early 1980s and played a significant role in the development of ecumenism in Milton Keynes.

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Spring Assembly

At our Spring Assembly on Tuesday 9th March we will take the opportunity to explain something of Mission Partnership itself and take away some of the mystery!

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March Newsletter

The first Sunday in Lent always centres around those strange and disturbing texts in the gospels which tell the story of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. It has often struck me that there is a “fourth temptation” which precedes the other three and without which there is no story at all, indeed there is no story about Jesus at all.

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Prayer for the Nation

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, have issued a call to the nation to pause and reflect – remembering the more than 100,000 people across the UK who have died after contracting Covid-19, and all those who know and love them.

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February Newsletter

Phew! January has proved an exceptionally busy month already. Apart from the usual round of meetings, a number of significant projects are now launched or about to be launched. For ease of presentation, I’ll list what’s happening…

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Prayers for our NHS

PrayMK writes: Let’s pray for our NHS. Here are some pointers written by a senior A&E nurse in a large teaching hospital.

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The Vine – a place to grow your discipleship

What are your hopes and dreams for your faith in 2021? At the Mission Partnership we want to help you realise the best of your discipleship through a new scheme which we are calling The Vine. This follows on from our November Assembly when we explored intentional discipleship groups together.

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gentlespaces – for those who are grieving – update

Back in October we told you about gentlespaces, the network of bereavement support groups we are setting up across Milton Keynes. We are delighted to say that we have now revised our offer to make it available via zoom until such time as we are able to meet physically with more consistency.

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Spring coMPass courses

This Spring we will be running three coMPass courses: ‘What shall we tell the kids?’, ‘Worship: a Spring Clean’ and ‘Being a resilient church’.

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Epiphany Reflections 2021: ‘Looking for Light

We hope you enjoyed our Advent Reflections 2020: ‘Hidden in Christ’. We’re pleased to introduce a new series of reflections for the Season of Epiphany written by Rev. Matt Trendall – Epiphany Reflections 2021: ‘Looking for Light’.

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